June 23, 2020
Canada Day is usually a great excuse to get outdoors and celebrate with friends and family. Because things look a little different this year, a big party might be out of the question, but there’s still creative ways to bid happy birthday to our great country. This year, why not throw a small but fancy backyard picnic for your family?
You don’t always have to keep it simple when having a picnic—instead, why not make this the year you go super-fancy? A picnic doesn’t need to be an outdoor gathering on a thin blanket with chips and PB&J sandwiches, instead, picnics can be so much more!
Try Fancy Tea Sandwiches
No need to stick to ham & cheese or tuna salad. Making really nice tea sandwiches, just like the ones served at fancy British hotels at tea time, takes only a few extra minutes and some different ingredients.
You can make endless combinations, including mini BLTs, tuna and black olive Niçoise salad, olive-oil and focaccia with pesto, cucumber with dill and cream cheese, turkey and apple, roast beef and horseradish, salami and artichoke, and so many more. You can make them easily on sliced white or wheat bread, then cut the crusts off for a tidy tea sandwich look. You can also use sharp cookie cutters to make shapes if you’re feeling creative. Or, try putting sandwiches on baguette rounds, pumpernickel, ciabatta, or croissants. Wash it all down with local drinks like Minhas Craft Soda or even a Village non-alcoholic craft beer.
Don’t want to go to the trouble of sandwiches? Get all the meat and cheese, plus crackers and nice bread and spread it out on a beautiful plate or board and voila—charcuterie!
The level of fanciness can be whatever you want it to be, from basic cubes of cheddar to sliced aged artisan gouda. Your meats can vary from typical pepperoni and prosciutto to deluxe spicy Calabrese salami. You can also dress up your board with things like tiny pickles, fancy mustard or jelly, olives, and fruits. Look out for local condiments too, like Seven Spice Chili Oil, Zinter Brown or Hellish Relish.
Why not celebrate Canada Day by feasting on the products of Canada’s coasts? Seafood is a real treat for you and your fellow picnickers, and you can find ready to eat crab legs, or lobster claws at your local Co-op store. There’s also frozen shrimp rings, just re-plate them onto a nice platter with sauce for a custom and fancy look.
Do Dessert Well
When it comes to desserts, you don’t have to have the usual chocolate chip cookies or out-of-the-box brownies in a plastic Tupperware container. Instead, bring out a tray of no-bake cheesecakes, puddings or apple crumbles in individual Mason jars, or make chocolate covered strawberries (use white chocolate only for a nod to the Canada Day red and white!). Of course, you can always pop over to the Co-op bakery cooler to see what’s fresh and ready for the holiday.
Don’t Forget Some Décor
Your picnic can be made even classier with some simple accessories, like tissue paper flowers (again, you can create a red and white theme if you wish) or strings of solar powered outdoor lights on your fence. Look for battery-powered candles and line the picnic area with them for a more romantic lean, particularly if you’ll be picnicking for dinner. Tiki torches are also a fun and festive idea and look nicer than a typical solar stake light. Don’t forget to pick out a large and nice blanket to lounge on.
What’s a picnic without games? Activities like corn hole and bocce ball are fun and easy to play for all ages, or just toss a ball around. Creating the ultimate outdoor picnic space will mean everyone can enjoy the holiday, right up until fireworks time.
This Canada Day, why not host a fancy picnic in your backyard with some fun and decadent foods, cold drinks, and fun accessories—it’s a holiday celebration that you’ll remember for years to come.
Find great food and Canada Day ideas at your local Calgary Co-op store.
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